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Leading expert claims that doctors should offer LAVENDER OIL as a first-line treatment for anxiety

Anxiety patients should receive lavender oil as a first line of treatment rather than addictive medication.

Professor Hans Peter-Volz said that doctors are too quick to offer benzodiazepines and other drugs to patients with anxiety.

Instead, patients with a mild form of the condition should receive natural remedies, including lavender oil, to combat their symptoms.

Official guidelines for the NHS say there is insufficient evidence that lavender oil, marketed because of its calming effects, could treat anxiety.

And experts in mental health care have rejected Professor Volz’s suggestion and said it is “unsubstantiated” and the evidence is too thin.

A leading physician believes that patients with mild anxiety should receive lavender oil as first-line treatment instead of addictive drugs such as benzodiazepines

A leading physician believes that patients with mild anxiety should receive lavender oil as first-line treatment instead of addictive drugs such as benzodiazepines

Professor Volz claimed that lavender oil capsules are just as strong as commonly used anti-anxiety drugs.

And he said they come with fewer side effects. He collaborated with Kalms, a manufacturer of lavender oil capsules.

Professor Volz is the medical director of the hospital for psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine in Schloss, Germany.

“Doctors can quickly give medication to people experiencing emotional problems without exploring alternative options,” he told MailOnline.

‘Too fast medication can lead to unnecessary prescription of medication and in some cases can cause dependence on the medication, especially when benzodiazepines are prescribed.

‘In my opinion it makes sense to start with a much less invasive intervention and that would be lavender oil.

“In my professional life I have never seen a pharmacological agent with such good results in randomized trials.”

British experts, however, refer back to Professor Volz’s suggestion.

CAN LAVENDER OIL REALLY FIGHT ANXIETY?

Some studies have shown that “uniquely prepared pharmaceutical grade lavender oil” can improve symptoms of mild anxiety.

Lavender oil significantly reduced activity in areas of the brain that are involved in anxiety, according to a 2014 study of 17 men who were treated for eight weeks under the direction of the Medical University of Vienna.

Scientists analyzed the brains of participants’ brains for the study, published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

It has also been shown to be as efficient as a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine Lorazepam for the treatment of generalized anxiety.

Lavender oil reduced both physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety in 45 percent of participants with generalized anxiety disorder without side effects, compared to 46 percent of those who used Lorazepam. The results of the 2010 trial by German psychiatrists were published in Phytomedicine.

A 2010 study found that lavender oil had the same effect as benzodiazepine Lorazepam

A 2010 study found that lavender oil had the same effect as benzodiazepine Lorazepam

A 2010 study found that lavender oil had the same effect as benzodiazepine Lorazepam

Another study led by the Medical University of Vienna compared medication of 523 people with generalized anxiety disorder with lavender oil, a placebo or paroxetine, an antidepressant for ten weeks.

In the lavender oil group, 60 percent saw a reduction in their symptoms by more than 50 percent compared to 43 percent in the paroxetine group and 37.8 in the placebo group.

Dr. Abigael San, a clinical psychologist in London, said: ‘To say that lavender oil should be recommended as a first line of treatment in a little strong and unsubstantiated.

“Anxiolytic drugs are probably given more than necessary because there are not enough resources, not because doctors make mistakes.”

Dr. Heidi Miller, a Hertfordshire doctor, said she would not prescribe lavender oil until there is “convincing” evidence.

“I’d be very surprised if she [lavender oil capsules] had a significant effect on mild anxiety, “she said.

There is a huge urge to cut back on prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, but there are limited resources for alternatives to the fast-acting drugs.

General practitioners can be reluctant to give the highly addictive pills – but it is undoubtedly the fastest and most successful route.

Dr. Miller said: ‘There is pressure on general practitioners to provide an answer to a problem.

“There will be some cases where other strategies can be used, but as far as I know there is a huge drive to reduce prescriptions.”

Up to 40 percent of people who use benzodiazepines for six weeks will develop a dependence and 1.5 million are addicted to charities in the UK.

Benzodiazepines, including Valium, Ativan and Xanax, are prescribed twelve million times a year, according to the UK Addiction Center.

They are fast-acting. But the danger lies in their unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, so that patients remain addicted for years even though they are only prescribed for short-term use.

Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, sleeping problems, aggravated anxiety and reduced coping mechanisms, which can lead to a vicious dependence cycle.

Professor Volz said: ‘Patients return to the doctors and need further treatment to try to reduce their dependence on the drug that costs the NHS more money.

“In some cases, patients are put back on benzodiazepines, further inflammating their dependence on the drug and making it even harder to get rid of it.”

Research has shown, although limited, that “uniquely prepared pharmaceutical grade lavender oil” can improve mild anxiety symptoms.

Two studies have shown that lavender oil capsules are just as effective as commonly prescribed benzodiazepine Lorazepam and antidepressant paroxetine.

But current research is not enough for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which advises the NHS, to recommend the herb for any kind of anxiety. Mild anxiety is currently not recognized as a category.

A spokesperson said: ‘NICE does not currently recommend lavender in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

“Research into herbal interventions, including lavender, has been assessed, but counseling does not recommend this as a treatment option.”

Charity Mind said they welcome alternative remedies for anxiety, but more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.

Head of information Stephen Buckley said: ‘Lavender oil can be useful for relaxation and stress reduction in people with mild anxiety.

‘However, it is not yet clear to what extent it can help people with more severe symptoms who can receive drugs such as benzodiazepine.

“What is useful in managing your mental health varies from person to person – so it’s really important that you and your doctor make the right decision for you.”

IS THE UK IN A BENZO CRISIS?

Benzodiazepines, including Valium, Ativan and Xanax, are prescribed twelve million times a year, according to the UK Addiction Center.

It said the number of people addicted to benzodiazepines in the UK is vague, but it can go up to 1.5 million, making them second after alcohol on the addictive scale.

A study published in the British Journal of General Practice published in July 2017 suggested that more than a quarter of a million people in the UK are likely to use more dependence-forming benzodiazepine and Z drugs (BZD) than the recommended use 2-3 weeks after viewing data from a survey of general practices in Bradford, UK.

Most people get their medicine from their doctor, but others can get it from the internet, from street dealers or through friends and family.

In children, cases of addiction to benzodiazepines have increased by 96 percent, from 161 in 2016 to 2017, to 315 in 2017 to 2018, Public Health England revealed in 2018.

Experts have previously warned that benzos such as Xanax and other anxiety disorders have become popular with teenagers for recreational use in recent years.

Meanwhile, campaigners have long fought for the problem of dependence on prescribed pills.

Benzodiazepines work by delaying the functioning of the brain by improving the action of a certain chemical in the brain, GABA or gamma amino butyric acid.

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